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Talcott seeking pro career

BY JOSH HICKS | FEBRUARY 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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Hawkeye senior Shelby Talcott would like to make a foray into the world of professional tennis after this, her last season at Iowa.

Talcott is 5-1 at the No. 1 singles position this season, which shouldn’t surprise anyone — she was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, according to Tennisrecruiting.net.

Iowa head coach Katie Dougherty saw Talcott’s promise from the beginning, and she has watched the player’s raw talent and skills become finely sharpened.

“She has consistently shown in her years here that she has the ability to be a great player,” Dougherty said. “She’s tenacious, she moves incredibly well, and she’s one of the quickest, if not the quickest, athlete I’ve ever coached.”

The lefty started playing tennis when she was 12. That’s a little later than most, but she was always an athlete.

Before she picked up a racket, she was actually a pretty serious horseback rider. However, her competitive nature that swayed her and led her to the tennis court.

“One of my younger brothers started playing tennis, and I didn’t want him to be better than me,” Talcott said.

she said she first became inspired to pursue a professional career upon attending a tennis camp one summer when she was still on the fence between tennis or riding.

At that time, she was playing tournaments without a coach, which is a little atypical in youth tennis. However, she excelled at the camp that summer and drew some attention.

“There was a coach there from Jamaica, Stonar [Coleman], who saw me play in a tournament, and he told me he thought I had potential,” the senior said. “Before Stonar, I didn’t have a coach, and I didn’t know exactly what I was doing yet. He really gave me the chance and helped me get started.”

Talcott’s current private coach, Parsa Samii, is widely known for his ability to develop players. He works with top talent who aspire to be touring professionals play on the international circuit.

“Parsa has really brought me up to another level,” Talcott said. “He’s helped me develop a lot and broaden my skillset immensely.”

The senior proved to be a strong and talented athlete from he start at Iowa; she played no lower than the No. 1 and No. 2 singles as a freshman.

Since then she has never competed lower than the No. 3 spot, and she has been a rock at No. 1 this season.

“She has some great wins already this spring, and we’re looking for big things from her,” Dougherty said. “The sky’s the limit for Shelby.”

The senior’s outlook is very realistic. She sees the work it takes to achieve success, and she’s more than willing to labor for the glory.

“I love tennis, but like any sport it’s a love/hate relationship,” Talcott said. “The commitment and the effort it takes off-the-court to succeed is a struggle that conflicts with the rewards. But I feel like you know you love it when you go to bed at the end of the day, and you ask yourself: ‘What would I do if I wasn’t playing tennis?’ And I just can’t answer that question.”

Once the season is over, and she’s received her diploma, Talcott will return to her home in New York and train for a few months before beginning to play and travel internationally.

Follow @joshhicks90 on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s tennis team.


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